SeaWorld’s Ticket Sales Plummet As Brits Reject Animal Attractions
SeaWorld’s third-quarter reports brought more bad news for the company: ticket sales continued to fall, and its stock hit an all-time low. Meanwhile, new figures released at the World Travel Market in London revealed that 79 per cent of British respondents didn’t like visiting attractions where animals are forced to perform.
SeaWorld’s attendance has been declining steadily since the documentary Blackfish was released in 2013 and opened thousands of people’s eyes to the plight of animals in marine parks. In October, the company announced that 350 workers would be laid off, bringing the total number of jobs cut since December 2014 to nearly 1,000.
SeaWorld confines orcas – who, in the wild, live in large, complex social groups and travel up to 140 miles a day – to tiny concrete tanks. Six marine mammals have died at its marine abusement parks this year alone, including the infant orca Kyara, her grandmother Kasatka, and her grandfather Tilikum, the orca featured in Blackfish, who was abducted from the ocean – separating him from his family – in 1983.
As the figures released at the World Travel Market show, more and more British people are choosing to avoid attractions that exploit animals, such as SeaWorld. In response to the question “When you are on holiday, do you like to visit attractions with performing animals (i.e. killer whale shows) or those which offer activities with animals (i.e. elephant rides)?”, 79 per cent of respondents said no and only 19 per cent said yes.
With public sentiment so clearly against cruel animal performances, it’s surprising that travel provider Thomas Cook continues to promote and sell tickets to SeaWorld. In recent months, PETA has been pressuring the company to stop supporting orca abuse, including in the following ways:
- Organising a national day of action with protests outside nearly 80 Thomas Cook stores on 7 October
- Demonstrating outside the company’s London headquarters on 25 October
- Distributing leaflets to attendees outside the World Travel Market in London on 6 November, ahead of the release of the above-mentioned figures
What You Can Do
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